As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

A Last Minute Trip and a Gracious Hostess

Bekah (our youngest daughter) and Maddie (our oldest granddaughter) had been planning a trip since May. As a graduation gift, Maddie's parents (our daughter Kristin and her husband Brian) had given her a trip to a dinner theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and had asked Bekah to go along with her. Kristin had also arranged for the girls to stay overnight with our friend Deanna while they were there. 

Ron and I have made the trip to Lancaster many times, as have Kristin and Brian. But as we were trying to write down directions for the girls, using our shortcuts and avoiding the interstate, it seemed complicated. 

Also, Bekah's foot was painful and quite swollen from an allergic reaction to a bug bite 😮 (a visit to the doctor had ruled out infection), and she was the back-up driver. 

Hmmm . . . 

I texted Kristin, "A little part of me wants to drive them there and then hang out with Deanna while they do their thing. Then I don't have to worry about them finding their way and I can keep an eye on Bekah's foot." Kristin was fine with that plan. 

Multiple texts and phone calls followed to be sure that everyone was okay with this last minute change. (They were!) 

So I texted Deanna to see how she would feel about having a last minute guest (me!). 

Immediately, she responded, "Ah! Wow! That would be awesome!"

And "What a treat!"

And "I'm delighted!"

An hour and a half later, Bekah, Maddie, and I were on the road. I would never have expected to be a part of Maddie's graduation trip, but we had a grand time! 

Deanna is such a gracious hostess! Not everyone would be so eager to have a last minute guest arriving (for an overnight visit, no less), but she extended such a warm welcome, almost making me feel as if I were doing her a favor instead of the other way around. We were greeted with hugs, and then we went into cool and comfortable Creekside Cottage. After a little conversation, the girls took their things downstairs and began to get ready for the dinner theater. 

 ~ photo taken from Dutch Apple Dinner Theater's Facebook page ~

After the girls left, we settled into the evening. Dinner was perfect summer fare: homemade burgers cooked on the grill and fresh corn-on-the-cob. Everyone (including Deanna's husband Tim and son Kyle) pitched in to prepare the meal. We spent the rest of the evening catching up and talking about so much, occasionally chatting with other family who were coming and going (Deanna's parents, daughter Sarah, daughter and son-in-law Rachel and Wes). We talked late into the night, even after the girls had returned from the dinner theater, talked with us for a while, and gone to bed. 

The next day, the four of us went to The Tea Trolley.  It is a charming tea room, with delicious scones and other goodies. We had a lovely time! (You can read Deanna's account of our visit ~here~.) 

After tea, we rode back to Creekside Cottage and then said our thank-yous and good-byes. We had had such a wonderful time at the Rabes' home and there was absolutely no indication that we were even the smallest bit of trouble. Deanna is quite the example of gracious hospitality! 

Dinner theater ✔
Tea room ✔

What was next on this girl-y graduation trip?

Why, petting goats, of course! 

Both girls are animal lovers, and petting and feeding goats was a thrill for them! 

I texted this photo to Kristin and she replied, "Maddie in her happy place."

Cool refreshments at a coffee shop . . . 

. . . and then it was back on the road, heading for home. 

It's not every day that a grandmother gets to go on a graduation trip, but I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with these sweet girls! 


  1. Such fun for the three of you! It's really a gift to be able to enjoy last minute guests. How nice for you to enjoy the festivities with your friend as well.
    The tea room looks wonderful and delicious! I like how you seized the opportunity.
    I do hope Bekah's foot is better now.

    1. Martha Ellen, it was so much fun, all of it! The ride with the girls, hanging with Deanna, the tea room, watching the girls loving those goats . . . all delights!

      I agree that it is a special person who can enjoy last minute guests, and Deanna is just such a person! She was totally at ease, which puts her guests at ease.

      Thank you for asking. Bekah's foot is totally well now!

  2. Looks like great fun! The girls were probably very happy to have you along and I know for a fact that Deanna was thrilled. Maddie should graduate more often! 👩🏼‍🎓

    1. Indeed, it was great fun! The girls certainly made me feel welcome, as did Deanna. I am blessed!

      Not opposed to that idea . . .

  3. It was a gift to have you all here, even though it was a very short visit! They are delightful young women and I'm glad to know them better! I'm grateful to God for our time together!

    1. Such an unexpected gift, this gift of time. I think that makes it all the sweeter! I am grateful too!

  4. What a fun-looking and sounding trip. How wonderful that Deanna welcomed you so. I have a feeling that wasn't too hard considering who her guests were. :) What an example you all were of being willing and able to go with the flow, change plans, and embrace whatever comes. What a gift your trip was to all of you, I'm sure. Going now to read Deanna's account...

    1. Becki, you are so kind! Indeed, this trip was a gift in many ways!

  5. Aw - I love this. You are a wonderful Granny for doing this and have an awesome friend for hosting. Looks like lots of fun was enjoyed!

    1. Thank you, Rosella, but I was so happy to do it and happy that the girls didn't mind having me along! Deanna is an awesome friend and hostess!

  6. A good plan in the end that made for a very nice time for all. It is refreshing to read about hospitality in practice. That tea room served a very nice spread. Your trip was a treat for grandmother and the girls. Happy for you and the memories you'll share.

    1. Thank you, Ellen! It all worked together in the best of ways!

  7. Cheryl, what a grand grandmother you are! What a fun trip, and how wonderful that Deanna could handle a last-minute guest with such aplomb!

    1. Jean, you are so kind! It was my pleasure to be with the girls and to be with Deanna who is a warm and wonderful hostess!


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